is fast becoming THE marketplace for search engine optimization (SEO) labor. This makes a lot of sense. A lot of the labor that goes into any typical SEO campaign is not all heavy analytical “brain” work. In fact, much of it is repetitive, tedious, and, frankly, quite boring. Fiverr offers SEO companies and individual service providers a ready pool of experienced SEO workers willing to do such tedious work for only $5.

How Not to Get Victimized by Fiverr SEO Gigs

There are many offers along the lines of “Get 50 Page Rank 3+ .edu links”, “I will submit your spun article to 1000 article sites,” or “I will submit your site to the top 100 social bookmark sites.” You get the point. Given the huge amount of submissions and, seemingly, labor expended for such a low price, what's not to like? Quite a bit, actually.

As it turns out, many, although not all, of the SEO deals offered at Fiverr might just prove to be too good to be true. While they are not scams in the classic sense of the word, they do complete the work they promise to do, the actual value of that work can be quite doubtful when it comes to the overall success of your SEO campaign. Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for.

How to Avoid SEO Rip-offs on Fiverr Gigs

Fiverr SEO Red Flag #1: Huge Numbers of Links Offered

Google considers “do follow” backlinks as votes for your website. The more you have of these from the right sites, chances are, the better you will rank on Google. This translates to lots more free search engine traffic. The problem with Fiverr offers that produce a huge number of links in a short amount of time is that they don't appear “natural” to Google.

How to Avoid SEO Rip-offs on Fiverr Gigs

According to Google's own guidelines, they are looking for sites whose backlink inventory came about naturally as website owners, bloggers, and other Internet users find these sites valuable enough to link to them. Such 'natural' link building happens in periodic and erratic spurts and they usually trickle in. Fiverr SEO gigs that offer to build a huge number of links overnight will not look natural to Google. As a result, your site might get penalized due to this web spam. At best, your site might get “sandboxed”-your rankings are artificially suppressed while your link patterns stabilize. It's anybody's guess when you'll be freed from your sandbox ranking prison.

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Fiverr SEO Red Flag #2: Offering Link Placement on High Page Rank Websites

Search engines rank your site based not only how many 'natural' backlinks it gets but also on the quality of the sites linking to your blog. Different search engines determine quality differently. Google uses the Page Rank system. The higher the page rank of a page, the more Google likes this page-whether the page's usefulness or actual quality measures up to its page rank is open to debate. What is indisputable is that Google ranks pages based on its own quality criteria-regardless of whether we agree with them or not. Accordingly, the higher the page rank of the site linking to your site, the better.

Many Fiverr SEO gigs will put your backlink on high page rank pages. There is no doubt that they will do this. The problem is that it might not do your rankings much good. How come? Many misleading “I will add your link on XXX Page Rank 6+” type of offers put your links on pages that already have many backlinks. The amount of “link juice” you'll get from such heavily linked pages is very low to none. To make matters worse, these shady providers don't care which page they put your link on. It is not uncommon to see backlinks being put on non-English pages. This is a problem if your site is in English.

How to Avoid SEO Rip-offs on Fiverr Gigs

Finally, some unscrupulous offers put your link on pages that have very bad backlinks placed by other SEOs. For example, your link gets put on a PR 6 page but there are Viagra or porn links on that same page. Google pays attention to the pages that link to you and the other pages they link to. You don't want to get penalized due to guilt by association. What's worse is that many of these bad links are spammed to a huge number of pages and being found on the same page as them may make you look like a spammer to Google as well.

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Fiverr SEO Red Flag #3: Offering Link Placement on Sites that May No Longer Exist

This problem occurs primarily in some social bookmark or article submission offers. Since these offers seek to put you on a large number of sites, the people offering these deals might not have the time to check if all the sites they are submitting you, are still operational or not. Usually they use some software to automate the process. And that is why, they do not even bother to care if all those submissions are working perfectly or not. Chances are a few have gone out of business or did not re-register their domain.

As a result, you order such a deal thinking you'll get your links placed on X number of sites. It turns out you only get links on a smaller number of sites. What's worse, some of the sites on the lists used by these submitters might be compromised by hackers so when you check to see if your links are live, you get hit by spyware. Make sure your antivirus program is always updated and activated when verifying links!

How Not To Get Victimized By Shady Fiverr Deals

The best way to avoid getting burned by Fiverr deals that possess any of the red flag features described above is to look at the past comments of previous customers. Look for a large portion of complaints. If a provider has more than 5 percent complaints, send questions to the provider. Look for reassurance that you're dealing with a straight shooter. If the provider has more than 10 percent complaints or negative reviews, skip that provider. The pitfalls some Fiverr SEO 'deals' should make clear is that choosing an SEO service provider, much like choosing a SEO Company, takes attention to detail and some critical analysis. If something is too good to be true, it usually is.